Don’t change your name to an acronym

Soooo many credit unions are jumping on the acronym bandwagon. Yes, the words “credit union” are a mouthful, and even worse are the “Federal Credit Unions” who are legally obligated to use all three words in their name. But please, resist the temptation to shorten your name to acronyms. We see it all the time. Unfortunately, this change makes your name more generic and therefore more forgettable with your members and potential members. STCU, BECU, BCU, DCU, DFCU, MECU, GECU, just to name a few of the large ones.

But here’s a new angle on why you should be extra careful before deciding to shorten your CU’s name to its acronym. Think about what it is going to sound like when you call up a member on the phone. Think about what it is going to sound like when the receptionist answers the phone… which will happen 20 or 30 or 40 or 50 times per day. We all know how funny Washington Telephone Federal Credit Union looks when they shorten their name to WTFCU. But here’s a new twist that I learned from my new friend Matt Vance who I met last night at the Washington CU League’s annual convention in Spokane. He works at Industrial Credit Union, and they have recently made the decision to refer to themselves as ICU. It can be interpreted in at least two different ways. It could be “I see you.” Or, it could be short for Intensive Care Unit. Imagine Matt’s dismay when he caused panic in a vendor by calling her back and saying, “Hi, this is Matt from ICU.” The vendor’s first reaction was panic, thinking that her husband, who was in the hospital, had taken a turn for the worse.

When it comes to using the acronym instead of your full credit union name…. just say no!

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5 Responses to “Don’t change your name to an acronym”

  1. Trey Reeme Says:

    Great to finally meet you in person, Morriss! Keep rockin!

  2. Brent Says:

    Here here! Morriss, it was awesome to hang. What Happens in Spokane Stays in Spokane™.

  3. Morriss Partee Says:

    Hey Trey and Brent,

    Awesome to meet both of you at last as well. Very much looking forward to the next time.

    Matt tells me it was a vendor, not a member, who he called, but the point of the story remains the same….

  4. Jim Grapes Says:

    How about CUCU?

  5. william azaroff » Blog Archive » Two great people from the conference in Spokane. Says:

    […] I’ve followed his blog for some time and it was great to finally meet him. He wrote up a very funny anecdote that Matt shared – the downside of CUs trying to shorten their names down to just the acronym. A dangerous […]

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